Summary: The real problem with man is the heart. When we stop treating the symptom and instead treat the problem then real change can come.
HEART PROBLEMS ?
Proverbs 4 : 20-27
I. GETTING THE WORD (Proverbs 4:20-22)
A. attend to my words; incline thine ear (v.20b)
1. Get away from distractions
2. Listen as your life depended on it; because it does
B. Let them not depart from thine eyes (v.21a)
C. keep them in the midst of thine heart. (v.21b)
1. memorize, meditate, think about
II. RESULTS OF THE WORD (Proverbs 4:22)
A. For they are life unto those that find them, (v.22a)
1. People stumbling blindly on; not knowing what causes them to fall
2. God’s Word can change your life to eternal, abundant, peaceful and secure life
3. True life; only after the Word got into my heart
B. and Health to all their flesh (v.22b)
1. Spiritual healing to the sickness of the flesh
2. Spiritual healing to the wicked heart of man
3. Spiritual healing to ALL our problem areas
III. THE TARGET OF THE WORD (Proverbs 4:23)
A. Keep thy heart with all diligence; (v.23a)
1. The heart controls the mind, body, actions
2. Everything that we do, say, think is because of the condition of the heart.
B. for out of it are the issues of life (v.23b)
1. We need to treat the problem and not the symptoms
2. The heart is the problem
3. Only one thing can change a persons heart
IV. THE RESULTS OF A DIRECT HIT (Proverbs 4:24-27)
A. A change in your talk (v.24)
1. (James 2:26) If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. (useless)
2. (James 3:6) And the tongue is a fire, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
B. A change in your walk (v.25)
1. (1 Cor. 13:11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
2. (1John 1:6-7) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
C. A change in your destination (v.26)
1. ( 1 Thess. 4:16-18) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
2. ( Heb. 13:9) Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
D. A change in your dedication (v.27)
1. ( Gal. 5:1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2. (Matt. 7:12) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
3. (v.27b) remove thy foot from evil. (like an animal in a trap, But God wants to set you free.
Conclusion: A preacher was walking home one day and he noticed a little mischeivous boy playing with some old birds in a beat up, rusty birdcage. He asked the boy, "Son what are you going to do with those birds." the boy said, "Well, I’m going to poke them with a stick...then I’m going to pull out the feathers...then I’m going to feed them to my cat!" Well that preacher had a soft heart and he felt sorry for those birds and he asked the boy, "How much do you want for them?"
"What? Why mister, you don’t want these old birds...why they’re worthless...they can’t mean anything to you."
The preacher replied, "How much?"
That boy sized him up and said, "well, ten dollars." And that preacher took out his wallet and gave that boy a ten dollar bill and then he took those birds over to nice patch of green grass under a shade tree. And he gently opened the door of that cage and he coerced those pitiful birds to come out of that cage and into freedom.
2000 years ago, Satan came to Jesus and said, "Yep! I just caught me a world full of people down there!"
And Jesus asked him, "What are you going to do with them?"